The contribution Amy makes to the healing of the guests at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center comes from a place deep within her. Having personally faced and learned to manage issues of addiction and the impact of a family history with mental health concerns, Amy connects with the Center’s residents on a profound level of understanding. From her light and playful energy during evening activities, to her quiet comforting protection through the long hours of the night, Amy’s involvement in each guest’s wellbeing is very personal. The development of her own strength and courage, which enabled her to rise above the many hurdles before her, originated with the warm environment of caring and non-judgment she found right here in her own community. It was the need to give back, to help in the manner she had been helped, and to share these new found abilities that was the catalyst in her decision to be part of the work at the Center.
Amy nurtures her sense of wholeness by maintaining close-knit family connections, taking part in local volunteer projects and events, spending copious amounts of time in the great outdoors, consistently attending support meetings, and always looking for the humor in life to keep the smiles and laughs alive Amy’s work both here and at a centrally located homeless shelter in the Lower Mainland offer her ample opportunity to share her experience and knowledge with others who are in their own process of becoming addiction-free.
Angela is a Chopra Certified Yoga Instructor who, having practiced yoga herself for eight years, found that she was a natural when it came to teaching this ancient form of healing. A great love of yoga and a great love of life brought her to the center to share the gift of yoga, laughter and love. Angie is also a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Student of Integrative Healing & Way of the Heart Graduate. These additional credentials enable her to help promote the optimal health and happiness of each individual while continuing to explore additional/alternative ways to aid others and herself in returning to wholeness. While her “assigned” roles are Chopra Yoga/Meditation Instructor, Nurse and Support Worker, Angie says she continually plays and switches up her roles at the Center. She feels it's important to embrace all aspects of our character and share those aspects with each other - the fool, the wise one, the playful child, the mysterious one, the listener, the observer, the engager.... so many roles, so much to enjoy.
Angie describes her journey to yoga as a welcoming embrace. She fell in love with Chopra ideals wholeheartedly at a weeklong Chopra event called Seduction of Spirit, also affectionately known as 'a slumber party for the soul’. Here she developed an even deeper appreciation for her yoga practice. The reason why she teaches is explained in one phrase: “the light & bliss and often laughter that emits from a person's face the first time they discover the joy of yoga.” Angie is often known to burst out in spontaneous laughter herself during a yoga class. Grateful to see the beauty of living a compassionate, courageous and authentic life, Angie is honoured to be part of a wellness team that exemplifies these qualities... a team that creates a safe sacred space for the individual to allow their most 'juicy' truest self to emerge.
Michael brings his many credentials in the areas of counseling, meditation and body-centred psychotherapy to his work with the guests at the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center. He assists the residents with their journey of self-discovery, modeling a sense of being present and being in a continual state of “showing up.” Michael has 11 years’ experience in the addictions field and a diverse background of skills, education and experience. He is a Registered Clinical Counselor, a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, and has enriched his deep sense of spirituality by undertaking a course of study in Buddhist psychology with David Brazier (Zen Therapy). In addition he undertook a two year intensive training program in body-centred psychotherapy at the Hakomi Institute in Boulder Colorado. Michael is a Buddhist meditation practitioner and a certified yoga teacher.
At CAWC he welcomes the opportunity to help individuals discover the act of being self-reflexive, i.e. self-correcting and responsible for their own behaviour, in an atmosphere that promotes healing as a spiritual practice. To maintain his own sense of balance and wholeness, Michael enjoys skiing, cycling, communing with the outdoors, daily meditation, yoga and pursuing his spiritual practice.
Carol is a Registered Massage Therapist as well as a practitioner of Ancient Thai Massage. She started her quest for knowledge in the health field area by studying Kinesiology at University. Her learning continued in Thailand, Ontario, and British Columbia where she studied massage, meditation, yoga, and nutrition. Carol had been reading and practicing various Deepak Chopra beliefs for 20 years when she learned of the Center. As she discovered more about the Center itself she became even more interested in being involved - to help facilitate a healing environment for guests. As a massage therapist, yoga instructor, and member of the support staff at the Center, Carol enjoys getting to know the guests and staff in all the different roles.
Carol is a life-long learner, and believes we all are life-long learners when we are open to what the present moment offers us. Carol incorporates yoga, massage, meditation and spiritual reading into her personal routine. She says she loves spending time with her family and dogs, walking in the wonderful forests and mountain trails in our area.
Celeste is our Wellness Staff Supervisor at the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center. She is also a certified yoga teacher in Hatha and Vinyasa disciplines. She has been teaching Yoga and meditation since 2002 and has developed a strong belief in the healing benefits of the seven spiritual laws. She says that, when put into practice, they can transform our relationship with ourselves and others. Celeste believes Yoga is not just for the duration that you are on the mat, but rather it is a practice, a tool for revolutionizing your attitude in life, moving your heart, mind and body into a place of balance and inner peace. At the Center, Celeste teaches yoga and meditation in the mornings and regularly facilitates some of the mind, body, spirit sessions in the afternoons.
Her years of instructing yoga, coupled with the interaction she has had with students and her own personal experiences have lead Celeste to know, with certainty, that her true purpose lies in supporting people during times of transition. In addition to her own daily practice of meditation and yoga, Celeste receives wholeness in her life through the various art projects she always seems to have on the go: painting, sewing, jewelry-making, as well as singing and playing music with friends. Celeste enjoys just about anything that gets her creative energy flowing.
Lauren is an Experiential and Integration specialist. She is a psychotherapist and has a history of working with people in crisis and severe trauma. As the former Director for the BC Settlement and Integration Workers Association (BCSIWA) she counseled counselors on a range of subjects from dealing with survivors of torture to incorporating laughter in the workplace.
Safe, confidential, nurturing, non-judgmental and growth oriented, Lauren believes in helping you heal your past and present wounds, core issues, and negative life patterns; from the extremely traumatic to the seemingly mundane. Together you will address Cellular (Micro) layers to Soul Connecting (Macro) levels of your unique and amalgamated life experiences. To what end? To experience your Body, Brain, Heart, and Spirit as integrated. To live authentically, with passion, purpose and JOY! .
Lori supports health and healing at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center through techniques such as classic massage, shiatsu and conscious relaxation exercises. She was drawn by the natural beauty that surrounds the Center, which is always welcoming and grounding. She finds the calm setting a great reprieve from the busy world. With a strong belief and foundation in Ayurveda, a Vedic system of traditional medicine and a form of alternative medicine native to India, Lori draws seemingly endless ways to find balance and wholeness. She also sustains her personal wellbeing by walking in nature and nurturing her relationships.
Emily is part of the team of kitchen magicians who creates and prepares the delicious and nutritious vegetarian fare that is so loved by all the residents at CAWC. She brings to the Center a love of food, a passion for food security, growing, cooking and health. Her background includes film industry catering and craft services. In addition she owned and operated a cafe, established community kitchens, taught food related skills and nutrition, and was involved in community development around food security. For the residents at the Center, she says she will cook “yummy things” and encourages the diners to tell her about their favorite foods and meals. For fun, Emily loves to be in the garden, out walking with her dogs and taking part in activities that allow her to be creative: playing and writing music, sewing, painting, cooking and writing. In addition, in her “girl cave” she is a carpenter! But most importantly, Emily loves cooking and eating well for and with her family.
Jeff is the Coordinator of Clinical Services at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center.A Certified Practitioner in Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, Jeff delights in working with groups and finds the healing experiences offered by the participants to be compelling. His commitment to this field is a reflection of his passion for health and wellness and he believes growth and change can be both fun and challenging. Jeff has worked as a therapist for 18 years, having received his Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology from McGill University. His credentials in the fields of Psychotherapy and Psychodrama were granted by the American Board of Examiners following extended study and practical experience in these specialized fields. With the support of the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Center of Addiction Research, Jeff authored a 52 page interactive self-help book on problem substance use. Entitled Problem Substance Use Workbook, this publication is distributed by BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. In addition, Jeff has served as the Campus Project Coordinator with eight post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, working toward improving policies and action to support mental health and non-problem substance use. Jeff brings more than “book learning” to the individuals he works with. Having what he calls “up and close personal” experience in the area of destructive compelling behaviours and mental health, Jeff provides residents with a combination of understanding and real-life evidence that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For Jeff, friendships play a critical role in his wellness and he makes an effort to connect in-person every day, outside of work, with at least one friend. He also enjoys hanging out with Skybear (the dog), daily exercise (running, climbing, skate-skiing, biking, etc.), creative pursuits (e.g. making videos and writing), and daily meditation and yoga. Jeff also is a believer in the health benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, and regularly practices this wellness technique between 10:30 pm and 5:30 am.
Heidi is one of the Wellness Support Staff members. She has been involved with yoga, aromatherapy and various healing-art modalities for over 15 years and, since its inception in 2009, has been working at the Center, supporting and sharing, laughing and caring while holding sacred space for the guests.
Heidi also serves as a Women's Resource Worker and Front Line Advocate at the Howe Sound Women's Centre in Squamish where she provides support for women. She has completed BC Society of Transition House's CWWA Counseling Program, (children who have witnessed abuse) and Vancouver Community College's Basic Counseling Course. In addition, she is a student of Mountain Shamanism and a certified Aromatherapy Practitioner and Holistic Aromatherapy Masseuse, She loves custom blending essential oils to make natural perfumes and creating salves, massage oils and creams using all of nature's wonderful ingredients to make pure body products. Heidi enjoys nature walks, the seasons, animals, fire and water ceremony, poetry, music, drumming and arts & crafts, and she believes strongly in utilizing her creativity in many different modalities, to bring balance to mind, body and spirit.
Wanda works as support staff at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center and loves meeting people from all over the world. She feels honoured to be included in their life's healing journey and a witness to the healing of their body, mind and spirit.
Wanda brings to CAWC experience from her work at the Howe Sound Women's Centre (HSWC) and Transition House. There she came to understand a great deal about abuse and how to help the most vulnerable, the women and children. As a board member for almost a decade, Wanda has been involved with many fundraisers for the HSWC including acting, producing, and directing the Vagina Monologues for eight years. In addition, Wanda is a Virtues Project Facilitator and uses them daily. Her personal healing quest started back in the 80's with Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra. Wanda says she is honoured to work in such a beautiful, blessed place, surrounded by gentle loving souls and nature.
In her personal life, Wanda practices Peruvian Shamanism which includes daily meditation, working with nature, honouring the self and the community through ceremony and healing. She also works with animals: training, showing, breeding, and receiving all the unconditional love they offer. Wanda plays the African Djembe drum and native drums, practices healing dance and yoga, and listens to audio recordings of all her favourite guru's such as Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Rhonda Byrnes, and others. Her favourite “therapy,” which is no shock to her friends and family, is THE BATH. There she relaxes, renews and releases that which no longer serves her! Candles, salts, aromatherapy, music, tea and she is in nirvana!
Lyn is a Vedic Master trained at the Chopra University and is a certified teacher of Meditation, Yoga, and Ayurveda. Lyn has an impressive history following her interest in different healing modalities and has taught Meditation and Spiritual Healing for over 20 years.Lyn believes all healing is self healing; and healing of self sometimes needs the support, love and compassion of knowledgeable people trained to hold a healing space for that person. Lyn loves to teach because teaching offers the opportunity to simultaneously be taught; a phenomena of giving and receiving. Lyn says “I feel honored to be on the staff of Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center.” We feel honored to be working with Lyn!
Michael is a Registered holistic Psychotherapist, Midlife Awakening Specialist and Spiritual Counsellor. Over the past 25 years, he has worked extensively with clients who have been diagnosed with varying degrees of “dis-ease” in health, career or relationship areas of their lives. Michael describes his fit with working at the Center as “coming home”. Michael has an integrated approach to healing using evidence-based "science" while honouring the “art” part of transformational healing.
Nirmala believes “Life is precious and priceless! We all deserve to live in the present and experience joy and healthy relationships”.
With this in mind, she founded Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center (formerly Paradise Valley Wellness Centre) which is offering cutting edge high quality assessment and therapeutic services for individuals and families impacted by destructive compelling behaviours. With over twenty three years experience as an addiction specialist in programming, protocol and management, her vision is to strive for balance and integration of body, mind and spirit required for healing and wellness. For Nirmala, work is more than just a career. It’s a calling. By combining her business acumen with her inherent sense of compassion she has enabled hundreds of people with addiction and emotional issues to regain control of their lives.
She was a nominee for YWCA women of distinction awards in the business and professions category in 2008 and she was also nominated for 2008 Celebration of Business Excellence Award in the business category.
She is a Chopra Center instructor certified in Primordial Sound Meditation and is passionate about sharing timeless wisdom tools for mind-body health, deeper life fulfillment and emotional healing.
Riun is one of the wellness staff at the Center, part of a team that interacts with the residents, providing assistance and encouragement throughout their stay at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center. Riun has a strong desire to be of service to people in a positive helpful environment and her work at the Center helps fulfil that need. In addition, Riun has worked for the Squamish Helping Hands Shelter for the past four years, first as a volunteer and now as a shelter worker.
He also developed a food program that redistributed donated food to people in need throughout the Squamish Community and is involved with “Foodie Forums” through Coastal Health Community Development, which investigates avenues of local food development. A long-time community volunteer, Riun participated in leadership roles in her two sons’ youth groups when they were in school, and founded the Squamish Youth Triathlon. Other community projects she is involved with include producing and distributing Story Of Mine with The Squamish Writers Group, serving as a hospice volunteer and attending Men’s Lunches at Hilltop House. Riun has a Health and Fitness Certificate from Simon Fraser University and has taken the Julia Cameron Artist Way program, which started her writing Morning Pages daily and led to the development of shredder art, a fun process of creating artwork from shredded pieces of paper. Riun is actively pursuing avenues of spiritual development.
Bio coming soon
Sharon is the Office Manager at the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center and may be one of the first people you speak to or meet when you arrive. In addition to managing the administration at the Center, Sharon contributes greatly to the general wellbeing of the residents and other staff members through her friendly, professional and compassionate nature. Throughout her 14-year career, Sharon has always been in the role of supporting and caring for the people she works for and with. She has great empathy for people of all walks of life, great respect for all individuals she encounters and an innate interest in the well-being of others. The opportunity to become part of the team at the Center has enabled her to finally be involved in an organization whose goal meshes with her own: to offer care and wellbeing to the people for whom it provides service – an opportunity that she feels was meant to be.
Sharon’s life experiences have taught her that we are all doing the best we can at every given moment but sometimes a helping hand is required to learn new skills to help us cope with new situations or to deal with our past. Sharon is also wise enough to take time for her own well-being. Her decision to live in Squamish was a great contributor to her wholeness. She loves getting out with friends to go mountain biking, hiking, walking, swimming, skiing, just being together outdoors or gathering for meal. She also really enjoys creating quiet time for herself every day, whether it is meditation, relaxing at home or having play time with her two cats.
Tannis is a therapist who brings healing through the arts to Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center. With a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Theatre, Tannis’ first twenty professional years were devoted to creating experimental dance-theatre in New York City. After discovering the healing power of art by working with people with multiple disabilities, she earned a Masters in Somatic Psychology in San Francisco, where she also became a Board Certified Dance-movement Therapist, Registered Drama Therapist and creator of Sacred Theatre. Since moving to Vancouver, Tannis has also become a Spiritual Director.
She brings almost thirty years’ experience of healing through the arts to her work with individuals, groups, adolescents and adults, especially those with eating problems, addictions and trauma. She has co-coordinated a hospital eating disorder program, taught on the university level, performed and taught in the US and Europe, and directed a theatre company of disabled and non-disabled actors. Her psychological theoretical framework is a combination of Jungian, psychodynamic, somatic and bio-energetic approaches.
In Vancouver Tannis has a private therapy practice, and was Clinical Supervisor for Pacifica Treatment Centre. She has been an Artist in Residence for the Vancouver School board, and taught at Tooba Centre for Physical Theatre, and Main Dance and Sourcepoint School for Shiatsu. In addition, she leads workshops in Authentic Movement, Ecstatic Body Postures, Moving Prayer and Community Movement Rituals. Tannis envisioned and directed the 2009 Interspiritual Sacred Dance Festival – the first event of its kind. She recently completed training in somatic approaches to the treatment of trauma and developmental trauma at the Sensori-motor Psychotherapy Institute.
Tannis says her friends and family are the Center of her life. She enjoys caring for her garden, walking in the forest, reading and going out dancing, to movies, dance and theatre performances. Her personal practices include daily Qi Gong, Pilates, prayer and singing.
Tracey is the Center nurse. She is a member of the College of Nurses of British Columbia and has worked as a Registered Nurse for almost 20 years. She has an extensive background in a variety of specialized areas including emergency, critical care, labour and delivery, paediatric oncology and medical surgical. She is thrilled to bring her practice full circle, and focus on a holistic approach, where healing the WHOLE person is the goal.
Tracey feels “well-being” encompasses all our parts, not just the physical body; it is the union of mind, body and spirit. Tracey believes we are on this earth to be of service to each other and is inspired by the abundant strength, grace and courage of the guests that come to Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center.
Vivianne is part of the “tasty team” at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center. As one of the chefs who create the Center’s amazing meals, Vivianne is committed to healthy, delicious food and believes a fresh vegetarian diet is a foundation for healing and growth on all levels.
Vivianne loves her work and it shows. Her creativity and enthusiasm, coupled with her most important ingredient, TLC (tender loving care,) contribute to the healing that the Center guests experience. Vivianne feels grateful for the chance to be part of it. To maintain her own sense of balance and wholeness, Vivianne follows a number of beneficial practices including Reike, which is a spiritual practice that transfers universal energy through the palms to enable self-healing and a state of equilibrium; exercise; eating well; yoga when she can, and Qi Gong, believed to help develop human potential, among other things.
Dr. Lawrence Klein
After receiving medical training on both Canadian coasts, Lawrence gained 10 years of experience working in a variety of situations across Canada and Internationally. He ran a 100 bed hospital in Indonesia, created medical programs for off-shore oil rigs in Siberia, and even sampled the luxurious yet busy life of a cruise-ship physician.
More recently Lawrence has practiced both Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine in Squamish – incorporating his passions for mind-body and whole person healing, as well as nutritional and complementary approaches to health. He feels that spiritual growth is our inevitable birthright – and that such growth can be nurtured by compassionate guidance along the often painful path to wholeness and maturity
Laurin Kyle Boyle
Laurin is a Chopra Certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher. As a staff member she supports guests by listening to them, sharing tools that she has found helpful in her own path such as Heartmath, the Passion Test, Laughter Yoga and Emotional Freedom Technique, and she helps to facilitate a process called The Work by Byron Katie to lift limiting beliefs. Laurin says that she has discovered that absolutely everything is always in Divine Order and that every moment is perfectly orchestrated to serve everyone's healing and happiness - staff and guests alike. The evening conversations at CAWC have been especially powerful as she recognizes that everyone at the Center gets exactly what they need at the right time! “If I were to use one word to describe my experience at the Center, it would be Grace.”
Contributing to Laurin’s personal sense of balance and wholeness are her regular practices of meditation, journaling, yoga, lots of laughter and play with friends and family. Laurin’s many interests include , spiritual coaching, spending time in nature, writing children's stories and poetry, photography and painting, organizing retreats and sweat lodges at her lake home, taking students through the Ministerial process for deep healing and helping people listen and connect to Inner Wisdom as a Spiritual Minister.
Heather Newman is part of our Wellness Support team at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center since 2009. To this role she brings a wealth of experience, compassion and specific training in the arena of human care, having provided wellness support to people of all ages from infants to adults since 1978. She has worked with Elders of the Squamish Nation and with Child Protection Services. In the mid-eighties Heather became a front line worker and advocate for women fleeing abusive relationships and in 2007 she began working in the field of addictions at a recovery house in Squamish. Her experience and certifications include sexual abuse counseling, crisis intervention, major mood and thought disorders, speech and language pathology and behaviour management. She specifically focuses on the needs of individuals suffering from stress, addictions, anxiety, isolation, depression and self-esteem. Combining a down-to-earth style of caring with a splash of humour, Heather uses strength-based and solution-based concepts in her sensitive approach with others.
Her easygoing compassionate interactions are fueled by a sense of inner peace, balance, and harmony related to a deep connection and appreciation of nature. A Squamish resident for 30 years, Heather has a deep gratitude for the outdoors, also finding peace and solitude in home, family, her great love of animals and her belief in the silence of nature where one can reach deep within to bring mindful awareness in healing.
Helen’s role at Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center is that of Wellness Facilitator, aiding guests in the recovery process in a supportive and non-judgmental way. An addict in recovery for several years herself, she brings to the residents at the Center her strength and hope, fully realizing through her personal experience, the devastation that addiction wreaks on the individual as well as the family. Helen is very active in NA and AA and also follows the Chopra philosophy. She is aware that those who are suffering from either addiction or depression or stress have many personal choices available to them in their path to wellness.
Helen has completed a course in Addiction Counseling from the Granton Institute of Technology in Toronto and has participated in many workshops and seminars dealing with addictions, stress and spiritual health. An avid hiker, swimmer and cyclist, Helen relishes the outdoors and communing with nature on a very spiritual level.